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India has finally made her mark on the world map.
The Global Indian can be seen everywhere -- on the street, in private and public places of work, in schools, colleges, hospitals, IT firms, political bodies, the entertainment industry and so on.
Almost everyone knows that chicken tikka masala is now a British national dish and the latest craze among youngsters in Tokyo is Krrish [Images]. Deepak Chopra is imbibed in every American's soul and Laxmi Mittal is the Indian industry king of the West.
But how did this movement get started? It began, in part, thanks to the desire for top Indian talent in foreign universities.
The US, India's most favoured study abroad destination, houses 76,503 Indian students. India sends the largest number of international students to the US, ahead of China and South Korea. That's not all; Indian students are cropping up all over the globe.
Today, universities from the UK, Canada [Images], Australia, New Zealand [Images] and Europe are seeking Indian students to come and study at their universities. What makes the Indian student so much in demand to these universities? Why is every foreign country focusing on India for international students?
The most obvious answer would lie in the number game. India can send huge numbers of students to study because a number of our qualified young people face placement shortages in our domestic universities.
Also, India's economy is booming. This boom has driven incomes skyward and allows banks to offer unprecedented loans, making it increasingly easy for Indian students to pay for their overseas education. There are also many grants, funds, scholarships and awards that help students foot the bill.
Moreover, the stakes are very high for top universities; they need to keep their prestigious rankings and reputations. Therefore, they need the fresh injection of talent and perspective that Indian students bring to the table.
Indian students are dedicated and familiar with an extensive curriculum. Our students respect professors and are very conscientious. This is one reason why our students do so well on university campuses. Seeing the past performance of our students, universities are more inclined to accept and continue seeking Indian students.
Plus, India is viewed as one of the 'hot' nations of the 21st century. It is expected that India and China will join the group of elite world superpowers within the next twenty to thirty years. International universities sense this, and want to keep forging alliances and bridging gaps as India emerges.
Conversely, what makes our Indian students leave? It's simple. In top foreign universities, Indian students are given a world class education with excellent research facilities and a great opportunity to learn different cultures and traditions. The students are given a chance to work after they graduate and develop their own thinking.
Many students stay back in the US, UK, Canada, Australia etc. after they graduate and work for a few years before returning home. These students come back to India with a significant amount of money and generally find good jobs when they arrive. So again, it's a win-win situation. Now, let's discuss the 'brain drain'.
There is a strong school of thought in India that criticises those who advocate studying abroad. These conservative thinkers claim that the intelligent Indians leave India for 'greener pastures' and the intellectual strength of India diminishes as a result.
India has some excellent institutes such as the IIMs and IITs -- but how many students actually earn admissions at these schools? What happens to the rest of the intelligent, driven students?
By sending these students abroad, we do not deprive them of a quality education. Instead, we give them the opportunity to grow as individuals, and also to learn how the rest of the world operates.
Also, when these students return to India, and many of them inevitably do, they'll aid in the development of our nation. They'll take the positives of foreign cultures, siphon out the negatives, and help India become the greatest nation on the planet. So all in all, the brain drain equation balances itself out.
Want to discuss this issue with others? Click here!
~ Are you a student who is studying/ has studied abroad? What advice would you have for other students who may soon be pursuing studies in a foreign country? What are your experience as an international student? What were the things you wished you knew before you left home? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature your experiences right here.
Karan Gupta is an education consultant and can be contacted on email@example.com
He is available to chat on Monday, June 25 at 3 pm.
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